Along with directors Carol Papillon and Amy LaFalce, all 16 Virginia Tech dietetic interns visited state legislators at the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day in Richmond. Speakers included  Virginia First Lady Dorothy MacAuliffe, who spoke about the collaborative role in overcoming child hunger, and Sandy Curwood, the new director of School Nutrition Programs.  Two interns also attended the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day.

 Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day 2
Amy LaFalce and Northern Virginia interns prior to the VAND members being introduced in the House of Delegates Chamber.
 Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day
Carol Papillon with Blacksburg interns and registered dietitians visiting Senator John Edwards.
Judy Midkff, Governor McAuliffe, and Anna Midkiff
FNP's Judy Midkiff with Governor McAuliffe and her daughter Anna at the Governor's Mansion to celebrate the launch of Project 365, a USDA Child Hunger Demonstration Grant. FNP is partnering with several state agencies to implement this program, which has three goals: to end childhood hunger in participating areas by 2018, to nourish student’s minds and bodies for improved school performance, and to be the nation’s leader in ending childhood hunger through partnerships and collaboration and innovative service delivery.


Vivica Kraak has been awarded a 2017 Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research on food policy and nutrition in Denmark. Kraak will spend four months in Copenhagen at the Metropolitan University College, where she will be a visiting professor for the college’s undergraduate global nutrition and health degree. She will also spend her time in the Nordic country researching sodium reduction in the nation’s food supply.

The 2017 Summer Hepler Fellowship students, faculty mentors, and their research focus:

Bailey Houghtaling (Elena Serrano)
Rural and urban food-retailer willingness to alter the food environment in promotion of healthful food and beverage purchases for low-income consumers

Jing Luo (Dongmin Liu)
Novel role of GPR30 in adipogenesis

Olivia Privitera (Brenda Davy)
Influence of a high-fat diet on delayed discounting, reward responses, and dietary cognitive restraint